Commune Kitchen and Cultivar are coming, plus other restaurant news

Mary Dumont opens Cultivar this summer.
Mary Dumont opens Cultivar this summer.

Openings: A duo of Clear Flour Bread expats will open a tartine-and-pizza-focused restaurant at Arlington’s former Zocalo space (203 Broadway at Rawson Road). Justin Demers and Richard Niedzwiecki will launch Commune Kitchen in about two weeks. Demers also worked at Somerville’s Bergamot. “I want to make approachable food for the community without the frills of fine dining. I want it to be a good value in a comfortable atmosphere: well-made and done right,” Demers says.

The restaurant will focus on tartines and personal pizzas “with big rustic crusts and simple combinations,” he promises, including breakfast pizza. The fast-casual spot has about 30 seats and, tastier still, free Wi-Fi.


Longtime Harvest chef Mary Dumont opens a new venture, Cultivar, this summer. The precise Boston location remains hush-hush, but she’s clear on the concept: “[Cultivar] is a horticultural term used to describe the way fruits, vegetables, flowers, shrubs, and trees are created from cuttings of the best plants. Like a cultivar, I’m taking the best of my experiences to create a new concept,” she says. Expect foraged food, sustainable seafood, dry-aged meats, and veggies from the restaurant’s hydroponic garden to create dishes like tea-marinated duck smoked on wild grape vines and peekytoe crab shumai with lemon verbena consommé.

The team behind Yvonne’s — which took over the Locke-Ober space last year — will open a Peruvian restaurant, Ruka, inside Boston’s Godfrey Hotel (505 Washington St. at Temple Place). Executive chef Preston Miller worked at The Breslin, a Michelin-starred gastropub in Manhattan. The menu focuses on Peruvian-Japanese fusion, known as Nikkei, and Peruvian-Chinese fusion, called Chifa. It’s slated to open later this year.

A sign of spring: The Envoy Hotel’s Lookout Rooftop and Bar (70 Sleeper St. at Northern Avenue) is set to open on May 9. Chef Tatiana Rosana will oversee menus there and at the Outlook Kitchen and Bar. “I’m going to be much more focused on seasonal, lighter, and brighter dishes. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons,” she says.


Brunches: Ever-lux L’Espalier (774 Boylston St. at Ring Road) has launched a three-course, $65 brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays, with offerings like a caviar omelet, foie gras with Darjeeling orange-scented French toast, lobster Benedict, cheese flights, and tea cocktails from tea sommelier Cynthia Gold. KARA BASKIN

Kara Baskin can be reached at kcbaskin@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.